General Course Information

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW3203
Course name: Guided Research
Programme offered under: LLB Programme
Semester: First and Second
Designated research course: Yes
Specialization: Not applicable
Prerequisites / Co-requisites: No
Course offered to non-law students: No
Credit point value: 6 credits

1.2 Course description

This course is about legal scholarship. Students will acquire the skills of effective legal writing and research (including the selection of research topics; different research methodology/techniques; framing of and responding to critical legal argument; how to avoid plagiarism) through producing a research paper under the supervision of a faculty member and participating in a series of seminar sessions. Learning activities during the seminars will consist of discussing the goals and challenges of legal research and scholarship, presenting one’s own research topic/idea, and constructive engagement with others about their research.

Given the unique manner in which this course is conducted, as compared to other law courses, students should pay particular attention to the following administrative matters when selecting the course.

First, students are responsible for finding a faculty member who is willing to supervise the students on their research projects. Different faculty members have different considerations and requirements on the decision to supervise a student, but it is typically expected that the student when approaching the faculty member should have a reasonably viable research topic/proposal that falls into the research/teaching interest of the proposed supervisor. Students are REQUIRED to secure the WRITTEN consent of their desired supervisor (i.e., an email from the supervisor explicitly saying agree to be your supervisor PRIOR to the end of the add/drop period. Failure to do so will result in an automatic F, so DO REMEMBER TO DROP THE COURSE if a supervisor consent is not forthcoming. On the flip side, students may, if approved by their respective supervisors, begin their supervised research and writing prior to the formal registration of the course (e.g., in the presiding summer vacation prior to registration in Semester 1, or in Semester 1 prior to registration in Semester 2).

Second, as reflected in the 10% classwork mark, the workshop meeting sessions are integral to the educational objectives of this course. Failure to regularly attend and participate in the meeting sessions will result in loss of the 10% classwork mark, up to and including a score of zero. Conflicting schedule with other classes/tutorials, overseas exchange, internship etc. are not acceptable reasons for absence, so please plan accordingly when making your course selection.

Third, the expected word count of the research paper is between 6000 to 8000 words. To qualify for a Designated Research Course credit, the word count of the paper cannot be less than 5000 words.

Fourth, the summer semester is ONLY available for students going on exchange and who has to take it in summer as part of an approved study plan. All other students MUST enrol in either the Semester 1 or Semester 2 sessions.

Finally, Guided Research II is primarily meant for students going on exchange and must complete it as part of an approved study plan. All other students must seek special approval from the Law Department before enrolling in the course.

1.3 Course teachers

Name E-mail address Office Consultation
Course convenor Stefan Lo stefanlo@hku.hk CCT 301A By email

Learning Outcomes

2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this course

CLO 1 Produce a research paper that conforms to University, Department, and course requirements in both subject and format.

CLO 2 Demonstrate mastery of legal research, including legal thinking and analysis; standard legal research methods; and legal writing techniques.

CLO 3 Work independently on a piece of substantive legal research.

2.2 LLB Programme Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

Please refer to the following link: https://course.law.hku.hk/llb-plo/

2.3 Programme Learning Outcomes to be achieved in this course



3.1 Assessment Summary

Assessment task Due date Weighting Feedback method* Course learning outcomes
Classwork N/A 10% 2, 3, 5 1, 2, 3
Research paper TBC 90% 2, 3 1, 2, 3
*Feedback method (to be determined by course teacher)
1 A general course report to be disseminated through Moodle
2 Individual feedback to be disseminated by email / through Moodle
3 Individual review meeting upon appointment
4 Group review meeting
5 In-class verbal feedback

3.2 Assessment Detail

To be advised by course convenor(s).

3.3 Grading Criteria

Please refer to the following link: https://www.law.hku.hk/_files/law_programme_grade_descriptors.pdf

Learning Activities

4.1 Learning Activity Plan

Meeting session: 4~5 meetings for students taking the course in semester 1 and 2; a 2 day session in early June for students taking the course in June semester.
Private study time: TBA

Remarks: the normative student study load per credit unit is 25 ± 5 hours (ie. 150 ± 30 hours for a 6-credit course), which includes all learning activities and experiences within and outside of classroom, and any assessment task and examinations and associated preparations.

4.2 Details of Learning Activities

To be advised by course convenor(s).

Learning Resources

5.1 Resources

Reading materials: The reading guide and selected reading materials will be posted on Moodle
Core reading list: TBA
Recommended reading list: TBA

5.2 Links

Please refer to the following link: http://www.law.hku.hk/course/learning-resources/